Northwell Health has been recognized by national telehealth leader Amwell® (NYSE: AMWL) with its New Models, New Normal Award. The distinction went to organizations nationwide that demonstrated outstanding achievements in adapting care delivery models to respond to rapidly changing health care circumstances.
Northwell, New York State’s largest health system and private employer, rapidly scaled up its telehealth offerings as it faced the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, witnessing an unprecedented 5,031 percent expansion in usage between February 2020 and February 2021. Those telehealth visits, powered by Amwell technology, were conducted across 85 departments using the integrated direct-to-patient platform.
“Northwell has been a true virtual care pioneer and has long led the way in developing innovative care delivery models to best meet the needs of their providers, care teams and patients,” said Dan Olson, senior vice president of Customer Solutions at Amwell. “From using telehealth to support its ambulatory and behavioral health programs to deploying telemedicine devices to expand specialty consultations across trauma, oncology, toxicology, PICU/NICU and more, Northwell continues to blaze new trails on what’s possible with virtual and hybrid care models. We are excited to continue to partner with the Northwell team as they further expand telehealth programs/services throughout their organization to meet the needs of their communities and patients.”
Patient consults were performed through 130 telemedicine carts deployed across Northwell emergency rooms, facilities, and affiliated locations. The health system also adapted existing telehealth programs to meet the new needs brought on by COVID-19 restrictions. For example, its TeleSNF program for skilled nursing facilities (SNF) not only helped connect specialty providers to those care teams, it also virtually brought family visits into the SNF. Northwell’s existing telepsychiatry program supported the COVID-19 transfer center and expanded to cover emergency room psychiatry during the pandemic.
“The onset of the COVID-19 crisis in New York tested every aspect and individual involved in delivering care to our communities,” said Martin Doerfler, MD, senior vice president of clinical strategy and development at Northwell Health. “Northwell is incredibly proud of how the telehealth teams responded to provide the tools and support to all of our clinicians and patients as they dealt with the crisis and much appreciated the support of the Amwell team in our efforts.”
During 2020 alone, the health system added more than 8,000 clinicians, nurses, office managers onto the Amwell system to conduct virtual visits. The effort allowed patients to get immediate care while limiting staff exposure during the height of the pandemic. Northwell treated more than 163,000 COVID-19 patients in the span of a year, more than anyone else.